Titans is coming off their first arc, which featured Wally West leading his friends to defeat the person responsible for his disappearance: Abra Kadabra. Though the opening arc ended up running a little long Dan Abnett showed he is the right writer to bring the Titans franchise and these characters back to the prominence they once enjoyed. Now that the Titans are united as a team it is time for them to establish their headquarters, which the last issue teased us with being back in Manhattan. Not only that, but the cover for this issue shows Superman racing the Flash, Wally West. Will this reunion between two pre-Flashpoint characters be joyous one? Let’s find out with Titans #7
Writer: Dan Abnett
Artist: Lee Weeks
Colorist: John Kalisz
Story Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Synopsis: Flash, Arsenal and Donna Troy are battling a giant enemy in Manhattan six weeks after their battle with Abra Kadabra. The enemy they are fighting confuses Flash, Arsenal and Donna as members of the Justice League.
Arsenal jokes that he wants to correct the guy. Flash tells Arsenal to focus and attack but Arsenal needs some time. Donna attacks the guy on her own but the enemy slaps her away. Flash is able to catch Donna before she hits a building.
Arsenal finally is ready to attack and is able to hit the enemy with an explosive arrow that knocks him out on the streets. The enemy regains consciousness and says that he has meta stuff to do. Donna jumps on the guy and knocks him out with a punch.
Donna goes to rejoin Flash and Arsenal. Flash is dressing Arsenal down for taking so long to attack and causing so much damage to the city. Arsenal reminds Flash that the enemy fell on the streets rather than through a building. Donna tries to break up the argument but is unsuccessful.
As Flash and Arsenal continue to argue Superman suddenly appears. Superman mentions he noticed the enemy that was causing havoc on the city and is glad the Titans took care of him.
Donna and Arsenal nervously thank Superman for the compliment. Superman approaches Flash and says it is good to see Wally again and takes off.
Flash is stunned that Superman remembers his real name and chases after him. Superman sees Flash chasing him and challenges him to a race, even though Wally just wants to talk.
Elsewhere Nightwing, Tempest and Lilith are working out the details with establishing the new Titans Tower in Manhattan with their lawyer. The lawyer is impressive it is they built Titans Tower so quickly. Tempest mentions that they had some help from Atlantis high artisans to grow it using bio-organic material.
Confused by what Tempest said the lawyer moves on to concerns the aircraft permits they are filing. Nightwing decides to take the lawyer to see their stealth jet in their underground hanger. The lawyer mentions that they will need to fill out. She then wonders why the Titans chose Manhattan as their home.
Somewhere in Iowa Flash and Superman continue their race. Flash is able to get Superman to stop and talk.
Flash calls Superman by his name, Clark and asks if he knows who he really is. Superman is confused and Flash mentions that he fell into the time stream and the entire world forgot him. He then says Superman seems to remember him before he disappeared from time and was forgotten.
Superman mention he did hear that Wally returned and that he actually went out to find Wally because he understand what he is going through. Superman goes on to say that he also remembers a different world. He continues by saying that there is definitely something weird going on as the world has changed but they didn’t. Wally agrees with the world feeling weird.
Superman brings up Linda Park, much to Wally’s surprise. Superman says he remembers how happy Wally and Linda were together. Wally reveals that Linda is still the same person they remember except for the fact that she doesn’t remember the life she had with him, as if it never happened.
Superman says he is sorry that Wally lost that relationship but there is still potential for love and life between the two. Wally says that others have told him the same thing. Superman then asks if Linda isn’t worth exploring that potential again. Wally says she is.
Wally changes the subject by asking about Superman’s life. Superman says that he and Lois are still married and they have a son. Wally is surprised to hear Superman has a son. Superman says he is trusting Wally with this secret.
Superman says he knows things will be hard for Wally to reestablish his personal and Flash life but that with his determination Wally can do it. Superman then says that if Wally needs someone to talk that he will always be there to talk.
Superman then says they should have a rematch race. Flash agrees. Superman mentions he was going ease on Flash with a smirk on his face. They take off running at full speed.
In Midtown Manhattan Donna and Roy are at a diner talking about the fight they were in. Roy mentions how the bad guy was talking like it was his first day with powers.
Donna asks Roy why he isn’t wearing his goggles. Roy says that no one in the diner is looking at him.
One of customers whispers to her friend that she thinks the person with Roy is Wonder Woman.
Donna wonders if Roy is trying to flirt with her. Roy jokes that he usually sticks to classics like “Hey babe, you from around here” when flirting.
Donna thinks Roy is actually asking her a question and runs down her origin story. Roy says he didn’t mean to open that door but Donna says she is fine talking about her origin as it’s been on her mind since Wally returned.
A little later Donna thanks Roy for picking up the check while walking through the city. Roy says he had to do it since he seemed to upset her on their first date. Donna asks if that really was a date. Roy nervously plays it off and says that if it was really a date she would know it.
Roy changes the subject to asking Donna more about her origin and how her mom could possibly be keeping some secrets from her. Donna isn’t sure about that. Roy says when he looks at her he thinks about how she should know more about herself.
Donna asks if Roy really looks at her. Roy says that is the best a guy can do with a girl like Donna. Donna kisses Roy on the cheek and says she is going to find out more about where she came from.
Roy is still stunned from the kiss. Donna walks away and jokes if Roy is still busy looking at her. Roy runs after Donna and says he wasn’t.
Outside Meta Solutions headquarters Mal Ducan (Vox) asks Karen Beecher-Duncan (Bumblebee) if she wants to go through with her decision. Karen says she needs to find out what her powers actually are and Meta Solutions can help with that.
Karen and Mal head in and tell the desk person they are there for an appointment. The secretary pages Psimon about the Duncans arrival. Psimon changes into a human disguise and says he will meet them soon.
Elsewhere the Titans lawyer is trying to understand how Lilith getting the word “Manhattan” from Abra Kadabra’s mind made them decided to set their home base there. The lawyer decides she’s had enough for one day and says she’ll talk to them tomorrow.
Before she leaves Flash arrives with Superman close behind him. Superman greats the Titans and says it’s good to see something that reminds him of the old days.
We pan out to see the new Titans Tower (which looks like a combination of the Hall of Justice and Titans Tower). End of issue.
The Good: As enjoyable as it was, the biggest problem the “Return of Wally West” story arc had was how big of a focus Wally was to the detriment of his teammates. That was especially the case with the second half of the story. With Wally being front-and-center on the cover of Titans #7 with Superman that was once again a concern coming into this issue. Luckily Dan Abnett made sure that Wally’s story actually enhanced everything else going on with the Titans members. The increased focus on the other Titans helps further the chemistry between the team and builds on what is to come.
The chemistry of the team has always been the biggest strength of the franchise and Titans #7 is an example of why that is. Whether as teenagers still learning the ropes of being a superhero or adults leaving the shadows of their respective mentors, the Titans members have always been a family. And just like any family the interaction between the team will be different depending on the mix of characters that are together.
That is on display when we have three different combinations of the team sharing the same screen time. This was best on display with the interaction with Wally and Roy Harper at the beginning of the issue. Abnett wrote these two as bickering brothers who disagreed on how to handle something, in this case taking down a bad guy. The back-and-forth between the two is the best example of how each character mentality is as a superhero. Donna Troy getting in the middle of the argument made it even better as it continued how they are all family, with Donna acting as the older sister in the argument.
Abnett does a good job using this scene between the three characters as a spring board to show us a different side of Roy and Donna. The date scene between the two does a lot to build goodwill for Roy, who has never been a character I’ve personally been a fan of. Because up until this issue Roy has actually come off as nothing more than an overconfident jerk, something he has been since the New 52 began. But now with Titans #7 Abnett explores how there is more to Roy with his crush on Donna and how he is trying to get her to go out with him. This also allowed us to see a different side of Donna as we get to see more of the side that likes to tease Roy and her teammates.
The date scene with Donna and Roy was also a great balance for more of the serious conversation between Superman and Wally. This was an interaction that has been I’ve been looking forward to since DC Rebirth as they are the only ones that remember the pre-Flashpoint DCU. This is a connection that further establishes how important both Wally and Superman are to the bigger things going on since DC Rebirth.
It was also a lot of fun to see Abnett set the meeting up through a classic race between Superman and Flash. This set-up kept the entire reunion from being a somber one as Abnett made sure to make it a reunion of hope. The reunion helped to further reinforce the fact that Wally should stop looking back at a previous life and look forward to building something new with the life he has now. It helps that Abnett did this by writing Superman in a similar tone to Tomasi and Gleason, who are writing him to be a source of inspiration to everyone else.
With how we got three different interactions that build on character relationships, having Nightwing, Tempest and Lilith working on putting the finishing touches on the Titans Tower was a good change of pace. Abnett did a good job laying out the groundwork for the Titans to have a much closer relationship to the city where their HQ. It was also fun to see how normal people, like the lawyer Nightwing hired, react to everything the Titans Tower had as we rarely see this type of reaction in a universe filled with Gods.
Now after spending six issues watching the Titans fight Abra Kadabra it is great that in quick succession we are seeing classic Teen Titans villains being brought back into the fold. At the end of the last issue we saw that Deathstroke is keeping an eye on the Titans and now we see that Psimon is responsible for the surge in meta-humans. The best thing about how Abnett has set-up stories for both Deathstroke and Psimon is that they are both plots that can develop overtime while the Titans continue to fight more of their classic villains.
It’s also interesting to note how Psimon reappearance is being linked to Mal Duncan and Bumblebee’s reintroduction to the series. The last time we saw them was in Titans Hunt was when they were part of the Titans reunion. Seeing as how they aren’t part of the team and Bumblebee is looking to get help with her powers it’ll be interesting to see how it works with the work Psimon is doing in secret through his Meta Solutions company.
Lee Weeks was a great compliment for Abnett’s story in Titans #7. With so much going on and characters spread out in different settings Weeks was able to have a great amount of consistency without rushing his art. Weeks’ art especially shines in the race between Superman and the Flash. Weeks’s does a great job drawing both characters in motion during their race, something that is hard to nail with the speeds they were running at. The ending was also well-executed as Weeks was able to capture how big of a moment it was to see Titans Tower again after such a long time it not being a part of the DC Universe.
The Bad: Nothing
Overall: Titans #7 captures the spirit of what made so many of us fall in love with this franchise back in the Marv Wolfman/George Perez days. Dan Abnett masterfully juggles multiple plotlines at the same time, seamlessly transitioning between them all without missing a beat. While the Flash and Superman race stole the show in this issue the rest of the Titans were able to get some needed screen time to further flesh out the various dynamics within the team. At the same time, Abnett is able to build anticipation for future storylines as Psimon is brought back in a major way. If you’re a fan of the Titans franchise I highly recommend picking up Titans #7, whether you’ve read this series before or not.